Public Health

How Much Is a Flu Shot With & Without Insurance?

Jacqueline Slobin06 Oct 2021

There are several types of flu shots that you may be able to get this year. The most common types of flu shots are the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the high-dose flu vaccine. 

  • The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against four different flu viruses.
  • The high-dose flu vaccine can be given to adults over 65 to create a more robust immune response and protection against flu viruses.

Most insurance companies will cover your flu shot at several pharmacies or urgent care facilities. Without insurance, however, the cost of quadrivalent flu shots can range from $0 to $50. Most major pharmacies give quadrivalent vaccines for around $40. 

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The Cost of a Flu Shot

The average cost of a high-dose flu shot without insurance is typically around $70. The CDC private sector cost for a quadrivalent flu shot ranges from $16.94 to $25.76. However, the price you pay may be higher at some locations due to additional fees.

Without Insurance

See the chart below for prices at major pharmacies such as CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Costco, and Walgreens. If you have not gotten vaccinated this flu season, it is recommended that you get the flu shot as soon as possible.  

The Cost of a Flu Shot without Insurance at Pharmacies

LocationPrice 
CVS Pharmacy

Quadrivalent: $40 

High-dose: $67

WalmartQuadrivalent: $35-$40
Rite AidQuadrivalent: $40
Costco

Quadrivalent: $20

High-dose: $40 with membership $47 without

Walgreens

Quadrivalent: $41

High-dose: $70

Source: https://www.goodrx.com/blog/heres-how-to-get-discounted-or-even-free-flu-shots-this-year/

How Much Other Vaccines Cost

The cost of recommended vaccines varies depending on your insurance plan. If you have private insurance, you will likely get most of the recommended vaccines for free or with a small copayment. 

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If you are covered by Medicare Part B, you will be able to get some vaccines for little to no cost. The included vaccines are the flu shot, pneumococcal disease vaccine, and the hepatitis B vaccine if you have a pre-existing condition. If you are covered by Medicare part D, you will be able to get the shingles vaccine and the Tdap vaccine for little to no cost. 

The cost of vaccines for adults who are covered by Medicaid varies significantly by state. If you are covered by Medicaid, you will likely access a flu shot for little to no cost. If you are not covered by insurance, the out-of-pocket cost of vaccines varies depending on the vaccine type and where you are vaccinated. 

Below we outlined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private sector costs for some adult vaccines. Note that the prices may be highest due to additional fees at your testing location. 

The Out-of-Pocket Cost for Different Vaccines

Vaccine TypeCost Per Dose Range  
Hepatitis A$32.86 -$109.13
Hepatitis B$25.43 - $121.25
HPV$140.59 - $227.93
MMR$48.86 - $78.68
Pneumococcal $62.69 - $202.00
Tdap$24.89 - $46.80
Td Booster$16.27 - $25.88
Varicella$82.04 - $135.73
Shingles$101.51 - $151.41

Reccomended Vaccines

Several vaccines are recommended for all adults in the United States. First, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that every adult in the U.S. should get an influenza vaccine (flu shot) every year. All adults should also get the Tdap vaccine to protect them against whooping cough if they did not get it as adolescents. After getting the Tdap vaccine, all adults should also get a Td booster vaccine every 10 years. 

In addition to these vaccines, all adults between the ages of 19 and 26 should get the HPV vaccine, protecting them from developing certain cancers. Several vaccines are recommended for adults over 50, such as the shingles vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine. There are other recommended vaccines for adults who have pre-existing conditions, work in health care, or did not receive certain vaccines during childhood. Some of these vaccines include MMR, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B.  

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Recommended Adult Immunization Chart Based on Age

Vaccine19-26 years27-49 years50-64 years≥65 years
Influenza inactivated (IIV) or
Influenza recombinant (RIV4)
 1 dose annually  
Influenza live attenuated
(LAIV4)
 1 dose annually  
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis
(Tdap or Td)
1 dose Tdap each pregnancy; 1 dose Td/Tdap for wound management
1 dose Tdap, then Td or Tdap booster every 10 years
Measles, mumps, rubella
(MMR)
1 or 2 doses depending on indication (if born in 1957 or later) 
Varicella
(VAR)
2 doses (if born in 1980 or later)  2 doses
Zoster recombinant
(RZV)
  2 doses
Human papillomavirus
(HPV)
2 or 3 doses depending on age at initial vaccination or condition27 through 45 years    
Pneumococcal conjugate
(PCV13)
1 dose 
1 dose
Pneumococcal polysaccharide
(PPSV23)
1 or 2 doses depending on indication1 dose
Hepatitis A
(HepA)
2 or 3 doses depending on vaccine
Hepatitis B
(HepB)
2 or 3 doses depending on vaccine
Meningococcal A, C, W, Y
(MenACWY)
1 or 2 doses depending on indication, see notes for booster recommendations
Meningococcal B
(MenB)
 2 or 3 doses depending on vaccine and indication, see notes for booster recommendations
19 through 23 years  
Haemophilus influenzae type b
(Hib)
1 or 3 doses depending on indication

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html

Bottom Line

There are two common flu vaccines; the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the high-dose flu vaccine. Your flu shot will likely be covered at several pharmacies or urgent care facilities if you have insurance. If you don't have insurance, the cost of quadrivalent flu shots can range from $0 to $50.